Activity graph I generated for the last year
As of today, my Chessable streak is 425 days. I’ve done something on Chessable every day since July 28, 2021. Well, almost. There were a few days that I did not that you can see above, but had the streak protect in place to save me. The day in July I missed was when I was on vacation and decided to stop my streak. I figured I was about 1 year into Chessable and didn’t need to keep the streak active. But by the next day I thought that was crazy and decided to start up again. You can see that week is pretty light on reviews, basically just 1 a day to stay active.
Having a long streak is not really that important to me. What is important is consistency. In order to retain information, I need to regularly refresh/relearn it. For me this is just lots of repetition, which Chessable is great at.
This week I crossed the XP threshold of “Hero” for getting 3,000,000 points. If I count overstudy I have 3.7 Million points. I know these are just fake internet points. However, if I average 50 points per move, which seems about where I am now, that about 75,000 moves I’ve studied. That doesn’t count all the moves that don’t get me any points.
The ranks above are actually missing the top rank, which is Eternal at 100,000,000. That image is from the Chessable FAQ
How I Study
Every day I review every open line I have in Chessable. I never let it get to be a huge backlog, which defeats the purpose of spaced repetition. Most days I do this first thing in the morning while riding on an exercise bike, getting two chores out of the way at the same time. I always strive to have this done before my family wakes up and before I need to start work.
Then I try to add new lines as needed. When I have new openings I am working on, I will add lines there. I always try to add a small number new tactics lines when I can. I am not always great about adding new lines, which is why it is taking me so long to get through some of the tactic books. But that’s OK.
As of right now I have 1572 active variations. I had no clue until I saw that on my profile. Thanks to spaced repetition I only see a few of those variations each day.
Below are the courses I am actively working on now. In addition, I’ve purchased and then stopped studying about 30 other courses. About half of these were “Short and Sweet” courses to try out. There are also a few other tactics books that I may get back to. I also have a wishlist of about 20 courses that I would love to get to at some point.
Learn Chess the Right Way
For tactics study, I work on the “Learn Chess the Right Way” series, which I think are great. I started on these after reading a blog post by Alex Crompton. I am done with books 1 and 2, though I still review the couple open lines that pop up every day. I am about 75% done with book 3. As soon as I’m done with that I’ll move on to book 4 - sacrifices and book 5 - finding winning moves. I’ve been working on these books every day for at least 9 months. Now that I write that down, I think I need to pick up the pace a bit.
- Learn Chess the Right Way - Book 1: Must Know Checkmates
- Learn Chess the Right Way - Book 2: Winning Material
- Learn Chess the Right Way - Book 3: Mastering Defensive Technique
I’ve tried a bunch of different opening courses. The one I’m working on now is Keep it Simple: Black. This is fairly new for me as my coach told me my openings suck (but he said it in a nicer way) after a recent tournament. This was not really news to me, but it was something that spurred me into action. For now I’m finishing the Quick Starter chapters, and then when I get an opponent that plays something else I add that line.
I have a few private courses that I work on daily as well.
- Main White Repertoire: This was mostly from ChessMood where I watched their videos and built up all the chapters.
- Additional White Lines: I’ve started to deviate a bit from the stock ChessMood recommendations, and these I put in a separate course. For example, I didn’t love the response to the French, so I stopped studying the lines (paused in Chessable) in my main course, and added the new lines here. I also have some additional lines that weren’t covered, that I tend to see often in my games, like the Stafford Gambit.
- Additional Black Lines: Keep it Simple is pretty good, but there are some weird lines my opponents play over and over that are not covered. They are not covered because they are dumb, but I still want to be prepared.
I really like having the consistency of Chessable as part of my routine. I think it is a good tool for the things I use it for. It is not great for everything. For example, I started reading a couple other chess books and I prefer to use a physical board while looking at those.
I’m not going to be upset if/when I lose my streak. But for now, since my goal is to do at least some chess every day, this is one thing I can do with regularity.